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Klahowya netters turn to teamwork
Klahowya is hoping that new volleyball coach Lisa Griffith will bring with her the stability the program has lacked in recent years, as Griffith is the teams third coach in four seasons.
In that span, the Eagles had shown signs of improvement, finishing 5-11 in 2005. But last year, the team fell to 1-15 in the Olympic League.
And while the teams improvement this year isnt easily measured in wins and losses, Griffith said it has been measured in a number of other ways.
These ladies are doing a great job, Griffith said. We have lots of good teamwork.
Griffith, who spent eight years coaching in Utah before serving as Klahowyas seventh- and eighth-grade coach through 2000, is eager to help end that revolving door. But the main reason she returned was a simple passion for coaching.
I dont know, Griffith said. Once you have it in your blood, youve always got to have it.
At 1-5 this season, Klahowya topped Kingston in a non-leage game for its first win under Griffith. With few varsity returners in seniors Jessica Wilson, Rachael Beierle and Lauren Fuller, the team has had to battle through a number of key losses.
Trisha Rarey, Rachel Stocks and Danya Mares all graduated and sisters Tricia and Tara Pattons family moved into Central Kitsaps boundaries, where they now suit up for the Cougars.
But thats just the beginning.
No it has not (been easy), Griffith said. We had a new person (Courtney Fowler) move in. We had one injured. We had one move out. But I think this group now is the core group.
That core of Beierle, Wilson and Fuller have teamed up with players like libero Katie Kirkpatrick, Emily Pruiett, Megan Shultz, Samantha Ellis and Mari Cleven as the group tries to re-establish the Eagles on the volleyball court.
Were just working on teamwork, Griffith said. Because thats a big thing.
Griffith said the heart of the team is among the largest around, considering the rocky recent history of the volleyball program.
It shows me that theyre willing to work and try, she said. Its hard to come in as a coach and change the whole system. To have the kids get it, half the season is over with. But theyre doing great. Im very proud of em.
The team has been making improvements in the fundamentals of the game, and Griffith said those are the kinds of improvements shes seen.
We just take it one step at a time, she said. I just want to see getting better. And each game I see, its getting better.
No one player has stepped up, but thats encouraging for Griffith, as she said its the whole team thats been making the strides.
It is the whole team as a group, she said. Its interesting. I have three seniors, one junior, one sophomore and four freshman. We have a lot of young kids.
The Eagles will continue the process on Thursday when they host Bremerton at 6:15 p.m.
Klahowya fell to Port Angeles on Thursday, 3-0 (25-8, 25-8, 25-12) a school nearly three times its size.
The Eagles used their top strength, strong serving, to rally at various points in the match, led by Wilsons two aces. She also had seven digs and two assists to share the team lead with Morgan Euzarraga.
Megan Schultz added five digs for the Eagles while Ellis led the team with two kills.